By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th October 2022

Kangal Dog


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

Kangal dog, a purebred dog with large, powerful body and heavy bones, is typically used as a flock guardian, actively protecting flocks of sheep from predators like bears, jackals, and wolves. Distinguished by moderately large wide heads, drop ears, black masks, black velvety ears, and a curled tail, kangal dogs have slightly longer body than its height with a front leg that measures over one-half of the height.

Kangal Dog Pictures

Quick Information

CoatModerately short, dense double coat with harsh outer coat and very soft, dense undercoat
ColorSolid colors ranging from steel gray, light dun to pale dull gold with white markings on chin, chest, and feet
Group of BreedFlock Guardian
Life span12-15 years
WeightMale 50-66 kg (110-145 lb); Female 41-59 kg (90-130 lb)
Size and HeightMale 29-32 inches (74-81 cm); Female 28-31 inches (71-79 cm)
SheddingHeavy, Seasonal
TemperamentProtective, Independent, Sensitive, Self-controlled, Calm, Alert
Good with ChildrenYes
Size of Litter5-10 puppies
BarkingYes when responding to threats
Country Originated inKangal, Sivas Province, Turkey
Competitive RegistrationDRA, ACR, NKC, CKC, UKC, APRI, KDCA

Kangal Dog Video

History and Origin

Kangal dogs are distinct from the basic Anatolian Shepherd Dogs and Akbash. In Turkey, it is believed that it is connected to the early mastiff-types portrayed in Assyrian art. They have been traditionally used by the large chieftains and landholders in Turkey for their outstanding guarding abilities. Introduced in Britain by Charmian Biernoff in 1965, the Kangals gave birth to their first litter in 1967. The Turkish Kangal dog was first imported to USA in 1985 by two Americans Judith and David Nelson, providing the basis for Kangals in the US.


  • Turkish Kangal Dog
  • Kurdish Kangal Dog

Temperament and Intelligence

Being a guardian dog breed, Kangal dogs are defensive of the human family or the domestic animals to which they bond. Despite having a natural aloofness towards strangers, appropriate training makes them sociable. Their alertness urges them respond to dangers with warnings and actions.

Although the dog does not require an extensive caring regimen, inexperienced dog owners would find it difficult to pet them due to their independent intelligence. Being suitable for houses with large yards having good fencing, they do not like inactive apartment life.



Kangals working in acreage get enough exercise guarding livestock as also patrolling property. Family dogs require daily jogs, long walks and socialization off-property, without which they become difficult to handle. Take alpha position and act as pack leader while out with your dog.


Kangals require little grooming throughout the year. However, their coat requires extra attention and systematic brushing-out every week during the shedding season.

Health Problems

Being a hardy breed, they are not susceptible to major health conditions, except from hip dysplasia, entropion and benign tumors.


Instead of training them harshly, use soft treatments and food rewards, showing true emotions like friendly pats or praises. The puppies should only be patted or fed by his caretaker or owner and but not strangers to prevent them from becoming subservient.


The dog kangal should be provided with a low protein dry food. A barley meal produced from boiled or hulled barley is routinely given to these dogs in Turkey.

Differences: Kangal Dog vs. Wolf

Points of DifferenceKangal DogWolf
Common NamesKarabashGray wolf, Timber wolf, Western wolf, Red wolf
CoatModerately short, dense double coat with harsh outer coat and very soft, dense undercoatDense, fluffy winter fur; short underfur with coarse guard hairs
ColorSolid colors like steel gray, light dun, pale dull gold with white markings on chin, chest, and feetPredominantly mottled gray; black, brown, red, and pure white are also possible
Higher classificationDogCanis
HeightMale 29-32 inches (74-81 cm); Female 28-31 inches (71-79 cm)31.5-33.5 inches (80-85 cm)
WeightMale 50-66 kg (110-145 lb); Female 41-59 kg (90-130 lb)Male about 50 kg (110 lb); Female about 40 kg (88 lb)
Size of Litter5-10 puppies5-6 puppies
Life Expectancy12-15 years6-8 years on average

Interesting Facts

  • Working kangals usually station themselves on high vantage points to look on to their flock, sometimes digging holes to keep cool on hot days.
  • When threatened, they motivate the sheep to assemble around them by giving an alarm call with their erect ears and tail.
  • Specialized wolf killers, called kurtcul kangals, fight with wolves if they are not successful in frightening the predators.

4 responses to “Kangal Dog”

  1. Ed Dubĕ says:

    I have a 145 lbs kangal and she is awesome with everything and everyone just over a year old

  2. Ron Nickerson says:

    How is this breed with Poultry. We have goats,horses,1000’s of Pasture poultry.
    We have Great Pyrenees at this time. Would they mix in relatively well.

    • Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) admin says:

      Hi Ron,
      The Kangal is a classic livestock guardian and is protective towards the flock by nature. However, the male Kangals do not usually get along well with other males of the same breed. The bottom line is you must familiarize your Kangal with other household pets and the livestock at a young age, preferably during its puppyhood.

  3. karan says:

    i want to buy
    a kangal pappy

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